bakery

Bringing Pastry to the South: La Boule Patisserie + Bakery

December 14, 2016

One of my greatest weaknesses is beautiful pastry and dessert, so when I heard a new bakery had opened up in Old Strathcona, coffee and a sweet treat was my top priority this past Sunday morning.

La Boule Patisserie + Bakery - 8020 101 Street - Edmonton AB

La Boule Patisserie + Bakery opened it's doors last Tuesday in a quiet area of Old Strathcona among other local independent shops and businesses. Jennifer Strang, former pastry chef at the Shaw Conference Centre, is owner and pastry chef of this new addition to the neighborhood. This information had me especially excited because the Shaw Conference Centre is home to some pretty incredible desserts.

The space is open with a minimalist feel, but is warm and inviting with enough seating for 12-15 customers. The bakery was surprisingly busy for early on a Sunday morning, but I'm sure the residents in the area are happy to finally have a patisserie shop to call their own. -


Petit Pain au Chocolat

Walking up to the counter revealed three different pastry cases - one for eclairs, one for cakes and tarts, and a third smaller one for cookies, croissants, galettes, and scones. All of the options sounded delicious and it took all my self-restraint not to order one of everything. But that just gives me an excuse to return, right?


Pastry Case

On this visit we picked out four different treats to try: the petit pain au chocolat ($1.25), a spiced apple eclair ($4), a white chocolate raspberry tart ($4.75), and a vanilla bean cherry cheesecake ($6). The mini chocolate croissant was the perfect three-bite pastry to have with coffee. Layers of crispy, flaky, buttery dough paired perfectly with the semi-sweet chocolate, making me almost regret not ordering the larger size.

I'm not much of a white chocolate fan as I find it can be too sweet, but it was just right in the raspberry tart. The tart crust held together and was baked perfectly to not crumble apart. Each bite was creamy with just a hint of raspberry, so I found myself wanting more of the fruit flavour to come through.

La Boule plans to eventually feature 9 different flavours of eclair, but during our visit spiced apple was the only one available. The pate a choux pastry had a nice rise, giving lots of space for the pastry cream to sit in. The spices were subtle and the eclair had great texture with the bits of apple in each bite. I can't wait to try out some of their other flavours, but for now, classic, black forest, and tiramisu are the other three available.

The vanilla bean cherry cheesecake (left) was beautiful with a garnishing of dark chocolate and a leaf of edible gold. Breaking into the cake revealed a layer of cherry compote and a thin graham cracker crust. This cheesecake was nice and light, which was a nice change from the usual dense, rich cheesecake that we come to expect.


Chocolate Caramel Tart - $4.75

La Boule serves coffee and espresso using Cafe Monte, a Calgary-based coffee roaster, and their tea blends come from UK-based Tea Pigs. Depending on your drink and choice of pastry, a visit will cost you roughly $5-$10, which is very reasonable given the quality of the cakes and pastries you're paying for.

With just over a week since opening, I've seen nothing but high praise for La Boule on social media. It's definitely well deserved and it's about time the south side of Edmonton got a pastry shop to call their own! Loaves and baguettes will be available in January as the team continues to test their ovens, but the future holds lots in store for La Boule. Stop by if you're in the area for some fantastic pastry!

La Boule Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Date Night

Eat, Stay, Fly: Renaissance Hotel's HALO Bar + Bistro at the Edmonton International Airport

December 06, 2016

When it comes to travelling, there are two types of people: the people that like to arrive much earlier than their scheduled flight and the people that arrive last minute, just moments before the cutoff to check in their luggage.

HALO Bar + Bistro - Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel

I find myself in the latter group, which is terribly frustrating for my boyfriend who is one of those people that like to arrive extremely early. But after a visit to the Renaissance Hotel's Halo Bar + Bistro at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), the two of us just might be able to make a compromise on our travel habits.

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I were offered the opportunity to spend a night dining at Halo with our friends Linda, Chris, and their partners. The EIA had originally contacted us separately to try out the many dining and shopping opportunities within the terminal, but they were more than willing to allow us to share this dining experience together when we asked. It made for a fun evening of catch-up and laughter, especially since my birthday was right around the corner.


French Fries with Saskatoon Berry Ketchup ($6)

The hotel's General Manager, David Keam, and Director of Rooms, Sumit Bhatia, were our hosts for the evening, and their passion for the hotel and hospitality industry really came through. The Renaissance at the EIA opened two years ago as the only Renaissance Hotel connected to an airport. Most airport hotels are bland and not too exciting, but the Renaissance in Edmonton proves to be anything but. Designed by the same team behind the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, the Renaissance Hotel is sleek, modern, and many of their decor pieces invite you to discover more about the hotel itself.


Cured Meat and Sausage Charcuterie Board ($22)

We started our evening by the lounge sharing casual conversation over some of their bar bites. Chef de Partie Daniel Ducharme gave an overview some of the plates we would be tasting throughout the evening and I was quite surprised to hear that Halo tries to incorporate local produce and ingredients wherever possible. This is fantastic though, as travelers staying in the hotel have the opportunity to see and taste the quality of the products from our local producers.

As a group we got a taste of the fries, charcuterie, perogies, and calamari off the bar bites menu. Saskatoon berries are abundant in our province so it was great to see them used in the housemade ketchup served with crispy french fries. The beautifully presented charcuterie board featured a variety of cured meats, supplied by Canmore-based Valbella Gourmet Foods, and cheeses from across the country. The lightly breaded calamari ($14) was tender and had a bit of a kick with a dusting of togarashi and a dip into the ponzu sriracha aioli.

The Nagy Mama Potato and Cheddar Perogies ($13) served with caramelized onion and kielbasa sausage are made by Baba's Own, a local Edmonton favourite. Fried to a bubbly crisp and served on a bed of chive sour cream, these perogies had great texture and flavour.

These four dishes were just a snapshot of the many available on the bar bites menu, but they were great incentive to try more. If you need more reason, appetizers are buy one get one free from 4-9pm every Friday, so you can end the work week on a high note. Or if you need a weekday pick me up, stop by for 'Bar Ritual' after a busy workday. At 5:15pm the siren signals the end of the workday, free drinks are passed around, and the all-Canadian music party starts with Kim Mitchell's Lager and Ale.

For our entrees we moved over to one of Halo's two private dining rooms. Each room can comfortably seat 8 guests and are equipped with televisions if they are needed, making them a great option for an intimate group dinner. As we each decided on our main dishes for the evening, the Duck Nuggets ($8) on the small plates side of the dinner menu caught my eye. I was hoping for morsels of duck in nugget form, but these nuggets came as full size tenders. The corn flake crust was beautifully golden and crisp, and the flavour of the duck was reminiscent of Chinese BBQ duck, especially with the five spice honey dip.


Land & Sea ($15) - confit pork belly, seared scallop, pea puree, fennel, arugula, apple

As the entrees arrived to the table, each was beautifully plated with pops of colour. As it turns out, the three ladies at the table were drawn to the risotto, while the men ordered the beef short rib, chicken, and sturgeon off the menu. Gordon went with the Braised Beef Short Rib ($33) served with a warm grainy dijon potato salad, carrots, and Saskatoon Berry jus. The short rib was rich, and fall-off-the bone tender, the way short rib should be. Halo typically serves a braised bison short rib, but there has been difficulty sourcing bison as local ranchers are getting better pricing by sending it south to our American neighbours.

Chris went with the Sturgeon Fillet ($28) which was brown butter basted and served alongside fennel potato latkes, lemon vinaigrette, and a fennel and arugula salad. Aside from the latkes losing their crisp, there were no complaints.

I'm a sucker for lobster risotto, so the Lobster and Forest Mushroom ($39) made with a variety of Prairie grains was right up my alley. The full lobster tail served on the colourful risotto was stunning, and not a presentation you typically see. The use of 7 different grains rather than traditional Arborio rice gave the dish varying textures which kept each bite interesting. I almost prefer this version with the chunks of mushroom and mix of peas - that's how much I enjoyed it! Factor in the perfectly cooked lobster tail and this dish knocked it out of the park.

After dinner we were taken on a tour of the hotel to see what it had to offer. Hotels under the Renaissance brand are typically a step above your average hotel, offering a clean, clever design to enhance your stay. Staff are friendly and the 'Navigators' within the hotel (experts in local food, entertainment, and culture) are passionate about Edmonton and more than willing to direct you to places to check out in the city.


Library

The Renaissance Airport Hotel offers over 200 rooms, twelve of which are suites, one a beautiful penthouse suite outfitted with a remote-controlled $6000 toilet. Despite the differences, two things are consistent between them all - rooms are completely soundproof and each contains mirrors that reflect light to give your room a beautiful sparkle. The second feature was actually discovered by accident after the hotel opened!

Those of you that live in Edmonton are probably thinking you'll never have the opportunity to stay at the Renaissance, but the hotel actually offers an excellent staycation package. When you book a room at the standard rate, the staycation package gives you:

  • a complimentary room upgrade
  • welcome amenities
  • two welcome cocktails at the HALO bar
  • a sharing platter at the HALO bistro
  • in-room dessert
  • continental breakfast for two at the HALO bistro
  • parking
It's an incredible deal and you get to discover all that the Renaissance has to offer.


Apple Pie

Our evening ended with dessert served in a room tucked to the side in the hotel's banquet kitchen. This room is able to accommodate up to 8 guests and is the home to the Chef's Table that the hotel offers from time to time. A large window allows guests to watch the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, and a television screen gives an overview of the kitchen prep area. It would be so interesting to watch the kitchen operate on a busy night!


Creme Brulee

As we all shared a variety of desserts we realized that given the location of the hotel there isn't much competition for Halo, unless you consider Chartier in Beaumont, which is a completely different type of cuisine. Halo's menu offers a wide variety for travelers (and eaters!) of all types, and they take pride in sourcing ingredients locally where possible. For some, it may seem a long distance to travel for a meal, but the food is worth your while.


Chocolate Ganache Tarte

If I haven't convinced you to make the trip out for a meal, consider dropping by for some nibbles or a drink before your next flight. Or if you are picking someone up from the airport, arrive a little early and park in the hotel parking area. Grab a bite or a drink while you wait - there's a convenient pedway connecting the airport to the hotel, and you can get your parking validated.

A big thanks to the Edmonton International Airport for coordinating the evening, and a huge thank you to the team at the Renaissance Airport Hotel for the hospitality and putting together such a memorable night. From this point forward it looks like I'll be arriving for my flights a little earlier, and my boyfriend has you to thank for that!

psst, if you're a frequent traveler, make sure to sign up for EIA Rewards - it's a complimentary program that sends out monthly discounts for parking, shopping, and dining. Members are also entered into monthly draws for flight prizes!

*Disclosure: I was contacted by the Edmonton International Airport to review a dining/shopping experience. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.

Halo Bar & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

bakery

Canova Pasticceria: Pastry and Panettone for the Holidays

November 27, 2016

Just beyond the Yellowhead Highway, off 127 Street by the CN railway tracks, lives a true hidden gem in Edmonton - an unassuming bake shop selling decadent Italian pastries.

Canova Pasticceria - 12667 125 Street - Edmonton AB

Canova Pasticceria (formerly De Fazio Gourmet) is the child to Carla Roppo and Kris Owczarek, husband and wife and business partners. Despite having no formal baking training the duo took a risk and acquired De Fazio Gourmet in 2012, learning to bake and sell gourmet biscotti to local shops and cafes.


Vanilla & Nutella Cornetti

But biscotti wasn't enough. After a trip to Italy to learn about Italian pastries, Carla and Kris now make some of the most beautiful pastries in their pasticceria, using methods rooted in old-world Italian baking traditions. This means using meticulous processes to make all their goods from scratch, including their holiday panettone, which takes 36 hours to make from start to finish. There's no shortcuts here, only the highest quality wholesome ingredients like 83% New Zealand butter and pure vanilla.


Savoury Danishes

After discovering the pasticceria, I was in luck as Canova reached out and offered to send me a sampling of their pastries that were sure to impress. The beautifully designed brown packaging accented with gold was enough to draw me in, but what was waiting inside was even more impressive. A beautiful spread of vanilla and nutella cornetti, amaretti, nutella brownies, and savoury danishes were nestled together, almost too pretty to eat!


Nutella Brownies

Gathering friends for a dinner party was the perfect way to showcase these treats, and everyone raved about them. The gluten-free amaretti were lightly sweet and soft with a chew, while the brownies were dense and rich with added decadence from the nutella. Of all the treats in the box, the vanilla cornetti won me over. Flaky layers of croissant-like pastry gave way to a luscious vanilla pastry cream with every bite, making it a star in my books. The nutella cornetti were also fantastic, but I found myself partial to the vanilla version as nutella can be a bit heavy.

Now you must be thinking to yourself that pastries of this caliber must come with a high price tag, but think again! Canova's pastries are delicious and affordable, so you can impress guests on a budget. It's a win-win for everyone, so think about Canova the next time you need pastries:

  • Large Pastries (such as danishes and cornetti) are priced at $2.75 each
  • Brownies are $2.00 each 
  • Savoury Pastries come in at $2.00 each
  • Amaretti are $1.00 each
  • Mini danishes are priced at $1.75 each
  • Cake loaves are $10.50 each, or $1.75 per slice 

Carla and Kris continue to produce their gourmet biscotti under the De Fazio brand, and although I've seen these biscotti throughout the city I never realized that they were locally made. The biscotti come in a wide variety of flavours and are delicious dipped into a cup of hot coffee. If you stop into the Pasticceria you can actually grab a cup of Caffe Umbria coffee to pair with biscotti or pastries as a little pick-me-up!

Panettone (literally translated to 'big bread' in Italian) is a traditional holiday sweet bread made with candied oranges, raisins, and citrus zest. Using the process they learned in Milan, Carla and Kris were determined to produce their panettone using old world methods with a sweet dough starter. This is no easy feat, as the dough requires multiple feedings, additions, and time to rise. It takes 36 hours to produce a batch of Panettone, and the results show that the time commitment is well worth it.

Canova's Panettone stands tall and packed full of raisins and candied citrus. The bubbling through the bread makes it light and fluffy, and it truly is the best I've ever tried. Each panettone is wrapped by hand using beautiful packaging imported from Italy, and it makes for an impressive gift for under $20. This panettone is Canova's pride and joy, and they're ramping up for their busiest holiday season yet. Safeway and Sobeys across the country will be carrying Canova's panettone this year, as well as smaller independent stores like Sunterra and the Italian Centre in Alberta. Canova's Panettone is going to be a hot item this Christmas, so you'll want to get your hands on one before they all sell out! Click here to find one near you!

Given that the pastries are delicious and so affordable, it is recommended to call ahead and place an order as the shop does sell out daily. While Canova Pasticceria is classified as a hidden gem in our city, I have a feeling that status will change soon enough.

*Disclosure: I was sent pastries and panettone from Canova Pasticceria for potential review on my blog. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.

dessert

Sweets For Sharing: Caramia Caramels {GIVEAWAY}

November 21, 2016

One bite of a fresh, European-style caramel on her honeymoon was all it took for Tammy to bring the sweet treat home to her best friend Alysia to try. After devouring the caramels much too quickly, their search for similar caramels locally yielded no results. The girls took matters into their own hands and decided to make their own.

Tammy and Alysia Lok have been best friends for years and recently became sisters, as Tammy married Alysia's brother. Since January of this year Tammy and Alysia have worked tirelessly to perfect their caramel recipe and make their caramel dreams a reality.

"Cara Mia" means 'my beloved' in Italian, and this duo's creamy Caramia Caramels are meant to be shared with the ones you love. After indulging in an assortment of their timeless flavours I can certainly say they are the best caramels I've ever had. The caramels have a soft bite and instantly melt in your mouth. They're smooth, buttery, and best of all they don't stick to your teeth or the roof of your mouth!


Sriracha Almond, Original, Smoked Maple Bacon

Caramia uses only high quality, natural ingredients in their caramels, and you really can taste the difference. Without artificial flavours or preservatives, the caramels are best eaten within 14 days, but I guarantee they will not last that long once you take a bite.

Tammy and Alysia opened their stall at the Edmonton City Market Downtown in May and haven't looked back since. They spend Monday thru Wednesday cooking their caramels one batch at a time on the stovetop, and Thursday and Friday cutting and wrapping each individual caramel by hand for the market on Saturday. Each batch takes four hours from start to finish, yielding about 10-12 bags of product.



These girls dedicate an incredible amount of time to their caramels, and both girls have since taken the risk of leaving their full-time jobs to pursue their dream of sharing their caramels with the world. They currently have the resources to make and package caramels for one farmers market, but hope to purchase a candy making machine (Prince Charming Mix-A-Lot) to expand further and offer their product online. Through Kickstarter, Caramia Caramels has exceeded their $13000 goal to raise money for their machine, and hope to reach $28000 in the next three days to release a new collection of tea flavoured caramels with your support.

This holiday season you will be able to find Tammy and Alysia at the St. Albert Indoor Christmas Market and the City Market Downtown on Saturdays. Their caramels are a great treat for anyone on your Christmas list, and their Holiday Collection is sure to please. The Holiday Collection includes hot chocolate, gingerbread, and candy cane flavours, which you don't want to miss. Tammy and Alysia have kindly offered up an 8-piece box of their Holiday Collection caramels to one of my readers to share the Caramia love! Find all the details below.

------------------------------------------------

THE GIVEAWAY

One 8-piece box of the Caramia Caramels Holiday Collection

To Enter: Visit the Caramia Caramels website and tell me which caramel flavour is your favourite, or which you would like to try. Note: leaving a comment is mandatory to enter this giveaway - additional entries will improve your chances of winning, but will not count unless you leave a comment

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow me via Twitter (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
  • Follow Caramia Caramels via Twitter (@caramiacaramels) (+1)
  • Tweet about the giveaway: "I want to try the @caramiacaramels Holiday Collection! I hope I win @littlmissandrea's giveaway! #yegfood #yeg" and link back to this post (+2)
  • Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
  • Follow Caramia Caramels via Instagram (@caramiacaramels) (+1)
  • Visit my Facebook page, and share the giveaway post! Gain 1 more additional entry by tagging a friend in the comments (+2/3)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to anyone 18+ years of age in Edmonton. You have until December 1st to enter and the winner will be selected by random and be contacted via email. Good luck!

*Disclosure: I was sent a bag of Caramia Caramels to try for potential review on my blog. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.

Chefs Plate

Chefs Plate: Restaurant Quality Dishes at Home

November 05, 2016

Do you ever have those days when you come home from work and you're just too tired to even think about prepping dinner? Yeah, I have those too. I'm thankful for the evenings that my boyfriend cooks dinner for us and has it ready when I come home, but there's also those days where we both aren't home until late and we just don't have the energy.

While it would be amazing to have a personal chef cook for us on those days, that just isn't attainable. But there's an alternative that's almost as good. Say hello to Chefs Plate, a Toronto-based company that recently made it's way to Alberta.

The concept behind Chefs Plate is simple and is done in three steps:
  • You choose the food you want to eat and specify the number of people you need to feed
  • Chefs Plate packages up the ingredients in the exact amounts you need and sends it right to your door in a refrigerated box
  • Each box comes with the recipes you need, so you can cook and eat in record time

Each week there are a handful of recipes that cater to a variety of diets with land, sea, and veggie options. The dishes are globally-inspired, balanced, nutritious, and feature locally sourced farm fresh ingredients.

Chefs Plate operates as a weekly subscription service that can accommodate meals for two or families of four. Delivery is available Monday thru Friday and you can manage your deliveries easily through their website. What's even better is that you don't need to be home for delivery - ingredients are sent using insulated, refrigerated boxes, and all packaging is 100% recyclable. Pricing is dependent on the number of recipes you require each week.

Chefs Plate set me up with a trial of two meals from their 2-person plan, so I went with the Shrimp Linguine and Korean Steak Stir Fry. The ingredients arrived at my door while I was at work, but the insulated, refrigerated box kept everything cool as it waited for me at my front door. The contents of the box were separated by recipe, and each included a card with step by step instructions illustrated with photos.

Cooking the meals couldn't be easier. With some washing and chopping, we spent about 30 minutes per recipe and enjoyed the results. The ingredients were very fresh and we appreciated that the proteins were locally sourced and Oceanwise certified! The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the amount of packaging, but all of it was recyclable which made me feel a little less guilty.

Two meals from the 2-person plan comes out to the price of $50 per week, which is a bit on the pricy side, but you're paying for pre-portioned quality ingredients that are locally sourced and delivered right to your doorstep. We found that each recipe gave us more than enough for two people (roughly 3 portions), so being able to pull an extra portion out of your ingredients can also be considered when it comes to the price.

I appreciated that each recipe listed the amount of ingredients so we could recreate the dish in the future. Another great feature was the nutritional information thlisted with each dish, which is great for those who are health conscious. While we won't be ordering from Chefs Plate on a weekly basis, I'll be keeping them in mind because I think this would be awesome for having a date night at home!

Are you curious and want to give Chefs Plate a try? Chefs Plate has offered to give one of my readers a free trial of Chefs Plate with two meals from their 2-person plan - details listed below! If you can't wait and want to try them out right away, use my referral tag #LITTLEMISSANDREA for 3 free plate credits with your first order. Have fun and enjoy!

------------------------------------------------

THE GIVEAWAY

Two Meals from Chefs Plate for Two People
($50 Value)

To Enter: Visit the Chefs Plate website and tell me which dish you would like to cook!
Note: leaving a comment is mandatory to enter this giveaway - additional entries will improve your chances of winning, but will not count unless you leave a comment

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow me via Twitter (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
  • Tweet about the giveaway: "Home cooked meals can be made easy with @ChefsPlateCA - Enter to win two gourmet meals from @littlmissandrea!" and link back to this post (+2)
  • Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea) (+1)
  • Visit my Facebook page, and share the giveaway post by liking the post and tagging a friend in the comments! (+3)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to anyone 18+ years of age in Western Canada. You have until November 20th to enter and the winner will be selected by random and be contacted via email. Good luck!

Breakfast

Breakfast & Lunch: Cafe Linnea

October 06, 2016

Duchess Bake Shop is arguably one of the best patisseries in Canada. On any given day there is guaranteed to be a line up for their beautiful baked goods, which are always worth the wait. Last year at Christmas in November I learned that there were plans to open up a breakfast spot 5 blocks east of their current location, so I've been waiting eagerly ever since.

Cafe Linnea - 10932 109 Street - Edmonton AB

Following the opening of the new Duchess Provisions at Holland Plaza comes the opening of Cafe Linnea, co-owned by Chef Kelsey Johnson and Garner Beggs (part owner of Duchess Bake Shop). This breakfast and lunch spot takes its inspiration from traditional Scandinavian and French cuisine, both of which share a part of Chef Kelsey's heritage.

I stopped by for lunch with a friend on a Thursday to find a busy restaurant with a small wait list. Although Cafe Linnea is tucked away from the busy 111 Avenue traffic, its hidden location has not stopped patrons from finding the space. The open concept restaurant features clean lines and minimalist Scandinavian-style decor, with copper accents giving the space a bit of warmth. Concrete boxes filled with plants and mossy vegetation bring some life to room, and in some ways it feels like you're dining in a greenhouse with the sunlight coming in through the windows along the roof.

We opted to sit at the bar by the espresso machine, where the barista worked non-stop throughout our entire meal. What's interesting about Cafe Linnea is that it is a no-tipping establishment. Prices on the menu are reflective of using high-quality locally-sourced ingredients and are inclusive of GST, so what you see is what you pay. The reasoning is that by paying their staff high wages (full time staff are salaried and get benefits) the staff are motivated to come to work, and tips are not expected.

The menu is split between small bites and main dishes, both of which have a fair number of options to choose from. As we debated between a few different dishes we had our drinks to start. The cappuccino came along with a baby meringue - a sweet little touch! The bar also features a juicer for daily made-to-order juice. During our visit it was a mix of peaches and other seasonal fruit.


Daily Juice

For lunch my girlfriend went with the Seared Carrot Galette ($16). Caramelized carrots, raclette cheese, crunchy cabbage, kobocha squash puree, and a perfectly soft poached egg sat beautifully on a folded buckwheat crepe. The sweetness of the carrots and squash paired well with the savoury cheese, and the cabbage added a different textural element. The runny egg yolk tied it all together.

While I get tempted by sweet brunch dishes I almost always end up going in the savoury direction, and the Oeufs-en-Cocotte ($21) caught my eye. The dish came with two soft-baked eggs on a caramelized onion and mushroom ragu with potatoes, topped with baby kale and served with a side of whipped butter and housemade sourdough. After one bite into the eggs and ragu I was done for. The creamy ragu was packed full of umami from the different mushrooms used in the sauce, and each variety gave the dish a different texture. With creamy egg yolks added to the mix, it was a perfect pairing with the lightly toasted sourdough and butter. You bet I wiped the dish clean with my bread!

A meal isn't complete without dessert, even when you're full, so we opted to share the Roasted Nectarine Crepe ($11) with bourbon vanilla semifreddo and caramel. The roasted nectarines had a slightly nutty flavour and paired well with the silky custard of the semifreddo. Even with the caramel sauce the dessert wasn't overly sweet and rounded off the meal just right.

Edmonton's brunch scene is growing and it's great to have another option available in the city. Prices range from $6-$21 per plate, putting this cafe on par with other establishments in the city. The use of local ingredients and house-made condiments brings to the table high quality dishes that customers of Duchess Bake Shop have come to expect. Stop by for breakfast or brunch, but be prepared to wait - there are no reservations unless you have a party of 6 or more. Reservations can also be made for high tea service on Sundays ($55/person), which I hope to check out soon!

Café Linnea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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